Feedforward control application in aerobic and anoxic biotrickling filters for H2 S removal from biogas

Luis R. López, Javier Brito, Mabel Mora, Fernando Almenglo, Juan A. Baeza, Martín Ramírez, Javier Lafuente, Domingo Cantero, David Gabriel

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27 Citations (Scopus)


© 2018 Society of Chemical Industry BACKGROUND: Feedforward control was implemented at laboratory scale in an aerobic and an anoxic biotrickling filter (BTF) operating under fluctuating H 2 S loading rate (LR) conditions in order to show the capabilities and added value of this control strategy. Dynamic, long-term tests with variable H 2 S LR were performed to simulate disturbances in the inlet gas concentration with and without the implementation of a feedforward control loop based on trickling liquid velocity (TLV) and nitrate feeding rate manipulation for the aerobic and anoxic BTFs, respectively. RESULTS: An average LR of 80 g S-H 2 S m –3 h –1 with peaks and valleys of 141 and 28 gS-H 2 S m –3 h –1 were tested. At the highest H 2 S LR, a 68.4% and 62.6% reduction of maximum outlet H 2 S concentration, and 50.0% and 26.6% reduction of H 2 S cumulative mass emitted were reached in the aerobic and anoxic BTFs, respectively, thanks to the application of feedforward control strategies. The sulfate selectivity in the aerobic BTF was enhanced up to 100.6 ± 5.0% under controlled conditions. In the anoxic BTF the sulfate selectivity was kept constant at 32.8% ± 0.8%. CONCLUSION: Despite demonstrating that the feedforward controller significantly reduced the impact of disturbances, the utilization of TLV as manipulated variable in the aerobic reactor showed performance problems. However, the feedforward control through nitrate addition was shown to be an adequate, robust strategy for reducing the impact of load perturbation in anoxic BTFs. © 2018 Society of Chemical Industry.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2307-2315
JournalJournal of Chemical Technology and Biotechnology
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2018


  • aerobic, anoxic, biogas
  • biotrickling filter
  • feedforward control
  • hydrogen sulfide


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